The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is seeking to extend the timeline to rebuild Reston Regional Library as part of a longstanding redevelopment project.
The board authorized a request to the Circuit Court to extend by two years the authority to issue the library bonds for replacement of the Reston Regional Library. The request extends the bond from eight years to 10.
The Board moved forward with the request “due to a combination of Reston Association and Fairfax County development requirements” that has caused delays in the library replacement and larger Reston Town Center North redevelopment project, according to Hunter Mil District Supervisor Walter Alcorn.
The request was endorsed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors during its Sept. 29 meeting.
The board envisions redeveloping the property from a hodgepodge of parcels into a vibrant and urban a mixed-use project that helps transition Reston Town Center to the existing development. Planning is underway but no firm plans have yet been determined.
County voters originally approved the issuance of bonds in 2012 for a total of $25 million for Public Library Facilities. The bonds included renovations at Pohick Regional ($5 million), John Marshall Community ($5 million), Tysons Pimmit Regional ($5 million) and Reston Regional ($10 million) libraries.
According to the board’s agenda on Sept. 29, “all work has been completed and bond funds expended” for each library, except the Reston Regional Library.
The board’s approved proposal includes using the $10 million bond funds in conjunction with the larger redevelopment plan for Reston Town Center North, where the Reston Regional Library is located.
In addition to the library, the proposal calls for the replacement of the Embry Rucker Shelter, North County Human Services Center, and the creation of community and open space, as well as common infrastructure.
Alcorn said other factors might cause the overall project to be delayed, but that he doesn’t think the bond extension will.
“While there are any number of other issues that could affect the completion timeline, the $10 million of general obligation bond financing for the library is not one of them,” Alcorn wrote in a statement.
Fatimah Waseem contributed reporting to this story.
Micro-school Launches in Reston — “NOVA Labs, the largest Makerspace in the DMV, has launched a micro-school with COVID-19 regulated in-person classes starting in September.” [Local DVM]
Walking Tour Set for Reston Town Center North Plans — Reston Association’s Design Review Board is hosting a walking tour of the parcels on Sept. 24 with Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn. [Reston Association]
Reminder: Complete Census — County officials say that one out of four households in the county have not completed the 2020 census. “For each resident who does not respond to the census, Fairfax County could lose $12,000 in potential funding over the course of a decade,” according to the county. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Reston Town Center North, a 47-acre site that serves as a transition from Reston Town Center to surrounding residential areas, now has a new name: Cameron Green.
With a rebranded mixed-use redevelopment proposal, a conceptual approval for a grid-of-streets plan was approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board earlier this week.
The plan includes nine acres of open space, with a central green — which is intended to act as a “Reston park in a new forest” that rests in the center of the site. The project will also include an athletic field and a county recreation center.
The central green is intended to be more neighborhood-focused and have “a Reston community feel,” according to application materials submitted to the DRB.
At a Tuesday meeting, the DRB unanimously gave conceptual approval for the plan. Members noted that the panel would have an opportunity to follow up on the inclusion of trees and the placemaking nature of planned open space once the development team submits a zoning application.
Richard Newlon, the DRB’s chairman, said plans approved for conceptual approval often differ significantly from the final and completed product — a change that he said raises some concerns.
In some cases, the final product is merely “in the spirit” of the conceptual approval, Newlon added, noting that dots denoting trees may look “cute” on paper.
Future concerns about trees and buffering could be addressed in future discussions, Newlon said.
Photos via handout/Reston Association
The future of a wooded patch of land nesting between a childcare facility, Reston Regional Library, and Paramount Condominiums is uncertain.
Norton Scott is appealing the county’s rejection of its plan to develop the 0.8-acre site with a 13-story condominium building with 58 for-sale luxury units — adding a new mix of housing units to the Reston Town Center market.
County planners say the developer’s plan exceeds the allowed density in the area and does not provide a public street connection between north Reston, Reston Town Center, and the future Reston Metrorail Station.
Reston’s master plan, which was approved in 2013, calls for extending Library Street to the Reston Town Center North site — a connection that county planners say is necessary to improve the street network in the area.
But Norton Scott is seeking to exercise a by-right plan, which comes after the county rejected a plan from MRP and Norton Scott in May 2018 for a public-private partnership on blocks seven and eight of the area known as Reston Town Center North.
The county deemed the proposal for Reston Town Center North– which would have included a civic plaza, a new library, a pedestrian underpass, and a new shelter, and a new performing arts center — too expensive.
County officials said they only received one submission for the project after a request for proposals was issued in 2017 for the project.
After the rejection and seven years after purchasing the site from Trammel Crow Company, Norton Scott says it wants to move forward with a new project on the site, which it is calling Library Square.
“The county kind of closed the door on other possibilities,” Chelsea Rao, senior vice president of Norton Scott, said. “We are a company and we want to monetize our assets.”
She says the company is willing to work with the county to ensure the site extends well with the other areas in Reston Town Center north. But asking for a road to extend throughout the site interferes with the developer’s by-right plan.
In a Feb. 7 memo, county planners concluded the development plan could not reasonably accommodate a future extension of Library Street as a public street.
Access between the surrounding parcels does not align with the extension of the street, making the inter-parcel connection “futile,” according to the county’s planning department.
The county wants the developer to align its project with the existing Library Street and connect with the proposed connection associated with Library Street near Reston Town Center.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors deferred a decision on the appeal to Oct. 29.
Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government
(Updated on May 18, 2 p.m. to include information about the release of the RFP)
Fairfax County officials formally rejected a redevelopment proposal for two blocks of the future Reston Town Center North project, a 47-acre plot of land where a street grid, mixed-use buildings and a recreation center are envisioned.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors rejected Reston Civic Core’s October 27, 2017 proposal earlier this month, citing that the proposal’s scope was well beyond the intention of the project and required a “substantial financial commitment” from the county. The cost of the project was not immediately made available.
RTC North, which is located south of Bowman Towne Drive, will be developed through a public-private partnership. The first phase of development, blocks seven and eight, could include more than 420 residential units, an expanded homeless shelter and library, private commercial development and office space for nonprofit organization.
An advisory committee with representation from Reston citizens and senior county staff first recommended denying the proposal. The county will continue examining other development proposals in the coming months.
In response to a request from Reston Now, the county declined to release the RFP, which was issued in July 2017, and Reston Civic Core’s proposal. Here’s more from a spokesman about the denial:
Because the proposal was rejected, the request for proposal and proposal are sealed, following the county’s purchasing regulations. Reston Civic Core’s proposal was rejected due to its additional scope and the financial commitment required of the county. Fairfax County is evaluating how to move forward, including considering future planning and procurement options.
This story has been updated.
What to do with 47 acres — The development team behind Reston Town Center North will present their plans for the 47-acre project to Reston Association’s Design Review Board tonight. Plans affect the local library and homeless shelter. [Reston Association]
Did someone say chocolate? — On Saturday, the Reston Farm Market will feature a milk and chocolate milk sampling from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the market. [Reston Farm Market]
Leidos named “best for vets” — “Military Times named the company one of the “Best for Vets Employers for 2018.” The annual list recognizes the top 100 U.S. companies across 30 industries committed to supporting military veterans and their families through culture, recruitment, and company policies. ” [PR Newswire]
Yesterday’s storm damages Reston home — A home in Reston was damaged yesterday night. No one was home at the time. [FOX 5]
Morning newsletter resumes — After a brief hiatus, we’re bringing our a.m. newsletter, a handwritten selecgion of news to start your day, back. Expect an update between 6:15 and 6:25 a.m. every weekday.
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
The future status of the Reston Regional Library was frequently brought up by attendees of a community meeting Wednesday regarding Fairfax County’s plans for the Reston Town Center North development.
Project coordinator Joan Beacham, of the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, said both the library and the Embry Rucker Shelter will be demolished to make room for the first stage of development. DPWES hopes that construction on the project will begin in 2022.
“We want to make sure everyone understands this is a long-term development,” she said. “Things aren’t going to happen right away.”
What is planned to happen when work does begin, Beacham said, is the transfer of the library and the shelter into temporary facilities. The temporary library, she said, would top out at 6,000 square feet — a figure that caused great concern to residents, as the current library is about five times that size.
“The Reston library has over 1,000 people a day that go to it,” said Dennis Hays. “We’re talking about 1,000 Restonians a day who will not have a [full-sized] library to go to for an indeterminate amount of time.”
Hays and other residents suggested the Request for Proposals for development ask applicants to commit to building the new facilities before demolishing the existing ones. The new library, Beacham said, is planned to be 39,000 square feet and exist on the first one or two floors of a new high rise at the same location. The new shelter, planned to be more than twice the size of the current one, is proposed for a similar “urban form” layout.
In the redevelopment, the 50-acre area — bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Town Center Parkway, New Dominion Parkway and Fountain Drive — would be realigned into nine parcels, which would then be rezoned into urban blocks. The first two parcels slated for redevelopment are Blocks 7 and 8, which include the library and the shelter.
“We feel in order to move forward with 7 and 8, temporary facilities will be required,” Beacham said. “This is the way that public facilities are repaired and replaced all over the county — it’s not just a situation with Reston.”
Both Beacham and Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said replacing the library and shelter is a priority of the project, as they are outdated facilities in need of additional capacity.
In total, Blocks 7 and 8 are planned to include:
- 360-420 market-rate residential units and 30 county-supportive housing units
- 174,000-244,000 square feet of private retail development
- 28,000 square feet of office space for nonprofits
- the 39,000-square foot library
- a 25,000-square foot shelter
Future plans for other blocks in RTC North include the development of a 90,000-square foot recreation center by the Fairfax County Park Authority, replacement of the North County Human Services Center, and a 6-acre central green space among 10 total acres of open space. Redevelopment of the whole area is expected to take more than a decade.
Three More Pool Hours Each Day — Lake Newport Pool is opening each weekday at 10 a.m. and will continue to do so through June 23. The pool, which is open until 7 p.m., had been originally scheduled to open at 1 p.m. each day. The pool is closed on Fridays. [Reston Association]
Meeting on RTC North Project Tonight — Proposed redevelopment of Reston Town Center North will be the topic of a community meeting hosted by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services along with Supervisor Cathy Hudgins from 7-9 p.m in the cafeteria at Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive). [Fairfax County DPWES]
SLHS Runners Heads to States This Week — The South Lakes High School track and field team will participate in the state championships Friday and Saturday in Newport News. Last weekend, the team had strong performances at the North Region championship, including a record-tying effort by freshman Hannah Waller. [Reston Patch]
Reckless Gun Discharge at Chantilly Chick-fil-A — Fairfax County Police reports a 38-year-old woman was struck in the hand by a stray bullet while walking in the restaurant’s parking lot Tuesday afternoon. [FOX 5]
File photo courtesy Carole Burnett
Proposed redevelopment of Reston Town Center North will be the topic of a community meeting hosted by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services along with Supervisor Cathy Hudgins later this month.
The upcoming meeting will be held in the cafeteria at Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive) from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 31. DPWES is scheduled to provide a brief presentation about the Town Center North-Mixed Use Area, including the Request for Proposal process for the Reston Regional Library and Embry Rucker Shelter.
According to the DPWES:
“Located midway between Tysons and Dulles International Airport, future Reston Town Center North is part of a quickly urbanizing area in northwestern Fairfax County. The Board of Supervisors envisions redeveloping the property from a collection of irregularly-shaped parcels, which are incompatible with Reston Town Center and surrounding development, into a vibrant urban, mixed-use environment that complements Reston Town Center and surrounding development.”
DPWES says the redevelopment would allow for the creation of a central green space open for public use; mixed-use development compatible with adjacent Reston Town Center; a walkable community connected to surrounding communities, Reston Town Center and public transportation; an expanded library to serve a growing population; upgraded delivery of human services; and affordable housing provided for workforce.
As part of the redevelopment, the area would be realigned into nine parcels, which would then be rezoned. A 2.6-acre public park is proposed for the center of the development. The first two parcels slated for redevelopment are the library and the shelter, which will be fully replaced. The Fairfax County Park Authority also has rights to build a 90,000-square-foot recreation center in the area, and the North County Human Services Center would also be replaced.
Redevelopment of the whole area — bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Town Center Parkway, New Dominion Parkway and Fountain Drive — is expected to take more than a decade.
The county last held a community meeting on the proposal in November 2015, shortly after a land swap was completed between the county and Inova, which also included Reston Towne Green, a five-acre parcel, being transferred from the Park Authority. Comments shared by community members during the meeting included suggestions about the locations and amenities of the library and shelter, as well as concerns about parking and open space.
Maps courtesy Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services
The Fairfax County Planning Department will hear presentations Thursday on the advertised FY 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Program, with a number of Reston projects on the list.
The largest local project in the plan is the reconfiguration and redevelopment of Reston Town Center North, which includes replacing and redeveloping the North County Human Services Center, as well as the Reston Regional Library and Embry Rucker Shelter. An indoor recreation center is also expected to be part of the project.
From the plan:
Reston Town Center North (Infrastructure and Blocks 7 & 8) (Hunter Mill District): Approximately $76,000,000 is proposed to rezone and develop the overall master plan that reconfigures and provides integrated redevelopment of approximately 50 acres currently owned by Fairfax County and Inova at Reston Town Center North (south of Baron Cameron Avenue between Town Center Parkway and Fountain Drive), including the replacement of Reston Regional Library, Embry Rucker Shelter, currently on this site, and development of additional facilities to accommodate Human Services needs. The plan maximizes the development potential consistent with the needs of the community and in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan Amendment approved in February 2013.
North County Human Services Center (Hunter Mill District): $125,000,000 to fund a replacement facility for the existing North County Human Services Center located in Reston. The existing facility is within the redevelopment master plan area known as Reston Town Center North which will be reconfigured for an integrated redevelopment consistent with the needs of the community and in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan Amendment approved in February 2013. The proposed North County Human Services Center will also support a consolidation of existing leased facility spaces in the service area into one Human Services site to provide enhanced and integrated multidisciplinary services to residents in the western part of the County.
The 47-acre area is bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Fountain Drive, Town Center Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive.
The projects are expected to be paid for by Economic Development Authority bond financing, according to the report. Approximately $10 million will be required in FY2018 to fund the county’s share of the agreement with Inova that will provide for the real estate exchange, as well as design and construction of the campus site infrastructure.
Funding of $12,000,000 was approved as part of the fall 2016 Human Services/Community Development Bond Referendum for the shelter, and $10,000,000 was approved as part of the 2012 Library Bond Referendum for the library.
Also among the five-year plan are the continuation of current plans including the Silver Line expansion, the redevelopment of the Crescent Apartments site at Lake Anne, upgrades to Reston and Fox Mill fire stations, the addition to South Lakes High School, and improvements to Reston Community Center and the natatorium.
The workshop and public hearing on the Capital Improvement Plan will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center.
Reston Town Center North map (2015) via Fairfax County
After months of discussing the title defect issue at meetings and in executive session, the MOU will move ahead after receiving four yes votes and two abstentions at Thursday’s board meeting.
Reston Town Center North is the 50-acre parcel of land owned by Fairfax County and Inova from Baron Cameron Avenue to New Dominion Drive. A land swap was approved by the county last fall in order to reorganize the parcel into blocks for development.
Future plans are likely to include a new Embry Rucker Community Shelter; a new Reston Regional Library; a new building for community health, social and mental health services; a 90,000-square-foot indoor recreation center; and more housing and retail. A multi-acre park is planned for the center of the parcel.
A large portion of the acreage within the redevelopment project area remains subject to the Reston Deed covenants, meaning this land is subject to RA Design Review Board review and new residents would be Reston Association members.
The association is seeking to prevent a “net loss” of open space within the project area. RA staff and counsel have been working with Fairfax County and INOVA Health Care Services for the past year to ensure the project does not infringe on the association’s objectives.
The MOU states that if a minimum of 10 acres of open space is not provided by RTCN by the end of the development process, then a “contribution of $64,340 per acre for each acre that the total area of open space is less than 10 acres shall be made to the Friends of Reston for Community Projects, Inc., to be used only for increasing the amount of or improving the quality of open space and natural areas in Reston.”
Several RA members spoke out at Thursday’s meeting both in opposition to to what one citizen called a “terrible agreement.” They were also upset that there was no opportunity for community discussion on the matter. Read More
The central green area planned for Reston Town Center North may not be big enough for meaningful programming — but it remains to be seen whether the county or Reston Association will look for ways to expand the outdoor space.
John McBride, Reston Association’s land use attorney, gave an overview of the potential planning issue for Town Center North to the RA Board on Wednesday.
A land swap and reorganization were approved by the county Board of Supervisors last year with a goal of eventually turning the 50-acre parcel into a new home for the Reston Regional Library, the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, recreational amenities and housing. Read More
Fairfax County may find an issue as it presses forward with the development of Reston Town Center North. Original county documents show that according to the Reston Deed, 10 acres of the 50-acre project must remain in its natural state.
The county approved a land swap with Inova last fall, clearing the way for future development of the area from Baron Cameron Avenue to New Dominion Drive.
County planners have held several community meetings to discuss future plans, which are likely to include a new Embry Rucker Community Shelter; a new Reston Regional Library; a new building for community health, social and mental health services; a 90,000-square-foot indoor recreation center; and more housing and retail. A multi-acre park is planned for the center of the parcel.
While Reston Town Center North still has to go through a lengthy rezoning and approval process and is not expected to be completed for a decade, it may run into a problem soon.
The entire parcel is subject to the Reston Deed. In 1974, 50 acres of land were sold and conveyed to the Board of Supervisors by Gulf Reston, the developer of Reston at that time, county records show.
However, the 10 acres running along Baron Cameron Avenue and is subject to many restrictions, that say the space must remain in its natural state.
“No building, structures or improvement shall be built or placed on the property conveyed herein, except structures which may be required for storm drainage or sanitary sewage purposes, or any building, structure or improvement which, in the aggregate, covers no more than 10 percent of the land area of this parcel and which is intended for recreational uses,” 1974 county documents state.
“The property shall otherwise be left in its natural state,” the document reads. “This covenant shall run with the land and be binding on the Grantee and its successors and assigns, for a period of ninety-nine (99) years from the date hereof.”
At a community meeting on Wednesday, Fairfax County officials presented rough standards for Blocks 7 and 8 — the area along Bowman Towne Drive where the Reston Regional Library and the Embry Rucker Community Shelter are located.
Those two facilities will be rebuilt in the same spot — only in a larger and more urban format with more services and amenities.
“We are not looking to copy the Reston Town Center space, but rather to complement it,” county project manager Andy Miller said about the plans for the overall 49-acre redevelopment that will stretch from Bowman Towne Drive to Baron Cameron Avenue.
No specific plans have been drawn, and the county must first go through a lengthy rezoning and planning process.
But in theory, an idea is emerging of what will be there in the future.
The current library is 30,000 square feet. The replacement library would be 39,000 square feet, which would make it the largest library in the Fairfax County system (not including Fairfax City, which houses the Virginia Room, a large facility for historic documents), said Miller.
The library will be built in “urban form,” meaning it will take up one or two floors in a larger structure. There will be parking beneath the building and no surface parking. There will also be an additional 4,000 square feet of space that will likely be used for senior services.
Embry Rucker Community Shelter, meanwhile, will be replaced with a facility nearly twice its size. The current shelter is 10,500 square feet with 70 beds. The proposed replacement shelter would be 21,300 square feet with 90 beds.
The 90 beds would include space for 11 families, 40 individuals, 6 medical spaces and expanded space during hypothermia season (November to March).
The shelter will in urban form as part of a larger building, with an additional 28,000 square feet being considered for use by non-profits.
Both the library and shelter will need to be temporarily housed elsewhere during construction.
Citizens, as they did at a previous meeting in September, gave feedback on what they would like to see at both facilities. Among the suggestions: tutoring rooms and more children’s areas at the library; and the temporary shelter being relocated to the empty Cameron Glen Care building nearby.
The county also showed tentative plans for other development on Blocks 7 and 8. There will likely be between 270,000 and 340,000 square feet of retail/commercial/office space, much of it in the same buildings as the library and shelter.
Tentative residential plans for Blocks 7 and 8 include 360-420 market-rate units; 12 percent affordable units (44-51 units); and 30 “supportive housing units” related to the shelter (mainly for people/families making less than 30 percent of the area median income).
An estimated timeline for redevelopment: Rezoning and and a Request for Proposals would take place in 2016, followed by individual rezoning of Blocks 7 and 8 in 2018. The design and permit process would take about 18-24 months in 2018-2020. Construction would take several years, with the final product being delivered in 2023.
Read about overall plans for Reston Town Center North in this previous Reston Now story.
Reston citizens will have another chance to weigh in on the future of Reston Town Center North at a community meeting Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. at South Lakes High School.
The meeting is a continuation of the conversation on Sept. 19, where county officials discussed the community’s needs regarding Embry Rucker Community Shelter, Reston Regional Library and the North County Human Services Building, which houses mental and social services.
In late September, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a land swap between the Fairfax County and Inova. The swap will help the county organize the 49-acre site better in order for it to be rezoned and redeveloped in parcels.
First up: Parcels 7 and 8 (see attached map), which houses Embry Rucker and the library. Both are aging and in need of expansion, officials said at previous meetings. A Request for Proposals for those facilities was put out to developers several months ago. The county has not yet released the results.
Fairfax County voters approved $10 million in funding for the new library as part of a 2012 bond issue.
Citizens attending the September meeting spoke up about adding a nursing home to replace Cameron Glen Care Center, which closed in 2014. Many also wanted to make sure the library got proper attention — and that citizens would not be shortchanged if the library was temporarily relocated during construction.
The redevelopment of all parcels will take up to 10 years, Andrew Miller, Project Coordinator of the Public-Private Partnerships Branch of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, said at a previous meeting.
The Town Center North project also includes the county’s acquisition of Reston Towne Green, a five-acre parcel from the Fairfax County Park Authority. In exchange, the park authority has rights to build a 90,000-square-foot recreation center in RTC North. It also ensures that Reston Town Center North will have a 2.6-acre public park in the center of the development.
Eventually, the proposed redevelopment, which runs from New Dominion Parkway to Bowman Town Drive and Town Center Parkway to Fountain Drive, may also include building residences, a performing arts center, offices, and retail, among other amenities.
Inova owns the parcels with Sunrise Assisted Living, the Emergency Care Center and the former Cameron Glen building. Inova has no immediate plans for redevelopment, a representative said.
Graphic of Reston Town Center North grid courtesy Fairfax County